Impact of Patient Subtype and Surgical Variables on Abdominoplasty Outcomes: A 12-Year Massachusetts General Hospital Experience

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Abstract

Background:

The traditional abdominoplasty is one of the most common surgical procedures performed. This study evaluates the impact of different surgical techniques and clinical patient factors on abdominoplasty outcomes.

Methods:

A retrospective review of consecutive patients undergoing abdominoplasty was performed.

Results:

Seven hundred seventy-nine patients with a mean age of 43.7 years and a body mass index of 27 kg/m2 underwent abdominoplasty. The majority were women (92.9 percent), and massive weight loss was present in 34.8 percent. Abdominoplasty techniques included traditional (59.4 percent), belt lipectomy (17.9 percent), fleur-de-lis (16.4 percent), umbilical float (9.2 percent), and mini-abdominoplasty (2.8 percent). Half of the study population [n = 384 (49.3 percent)] had concurrent surgical procedures. Total complications (23.0 percent) consisted primarily of wound- and scar-related complications (15.3 percent). Approximately 60 percent of patients received heparin chemoprophylaxis, with overall thromboembolic and hematoma rates less than 1 percent. Univariate analysis revealed that massive weight loss (p = 0.04), fleur-de-lis (p = 0.03) or belt lipectomy (p = 0.05) techniques, and concurrent medial thigh lift (p < 0.001) all significantly increased complications. Previous scars, amount of weight loss, operative time, liposuction, and other concurrent procedures did not affect total complications. Male sex (OR, 1.96; p = 0.04), fleur-de-lis technique (OR, 1.71; p = 0.04), and medial thigh lift (OR, 3.3; p < 0.001) were independent risk factors for total postoperative complications.

Conclusion:

This study demonstrates that abdominoplasty alone or in combination with liposuction and aesthetic breast surgery can be performed safely, with an acceptable complication profile.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Risk, III.

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